Working the Numbers with Modano

I decided I should rework my chart to reflect the latest Modano speculation:

McCosky says Wings will offer Modano around $1 million. Not sure what that does for the Wings’ defense.

(original McCosky piece here)

Well, let’s see. I adjusted my latest projections to reflect the bar set by the Miller deal. Basically, I dropped everyone down $50,000 because I last had Miller at $700,000.

Player Cap Hit
Total salary commitments $58,142,045
Partial cap space for signing veteran defenseman $1,257,955
Roster Spots Used (of 23) 23
(Calculations via CapGeek) (cap hit values in millions)
Darren Helm $.800
Patrick Eaves $.700
Justin Abdelkader $.750
Mike Modano $1
Drew Miller $.650
Mattias Ritola $.517

So assuming the McCosky number is correct, that leaves $1.2 million plus whatever space can be cleared by making room under the 23-man limit. Somebody has to go and the most likely options are the guys at the bottom of that list.

I’d, uh, say there’s a reasonable chance the Wings can land their veteran defenseman for the space they’ll have with that $1.2 million plus either $.650 or $.517 million. But which guy gets the boot?

Given the time and money they’ve put into Ritola, I’m thinking Miller. Which isn’t good news for the PK.

Filed under: The Team

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  1. Pete K says:

    here are two other possibilities:

    1. buy out draper

    2. trade/not resign meech, and go with only 6 D (two of whom are ericsson and kindl… this would be pretty crazy and would definitely require a deadline pick-up of a veteran D)

    i want this to work, but i definitely don't want to lose ritola or miller. another possibility, not that the wings can control this, but it's of course possible they waive ritola and he clears waivers. happened with quincey once, i believe.

    • Matt Saler says:


      First off, good to hear from you—how's things?

      I don't see the first option happening because of the Wings' loyalty to their own veterans. Yeah, Kirk Maltby's likely not getting an NHL contract (can't see how he could), but Draper's an alternate captain and an important piece of team leadership. I can't imagine the Wings buying out one of their own veterans for someone else's, even when that veteran is Mike Modano.

      As for the second option, the chart assumes no Meech. I didn't include him because I don't see how he fits at all. Leaving him off is the only reason it's not both Miller and Ritola.

      My wife thinks they can risk waiving Ritola because he's mostly made up of promise, not accomplishments. Teams may not be interested in the guy. But I still feel like the Wings will try to avoid that if they can.

  2. Garth says:

    I like your projections, but the way I see it, if you don't sign Modano then you've got over $2M to throw at a defenseman. $2M is a decent amount to give to a guy for a year to be the third-pairing mentor.

    The other potential for defense (And this works whether they sign Modano or not) is that maybe they expect Doug Janik to play with the Wings and maybe have each of Janik, Ericsson and Kindl playing 55 games or so.

    Re: Draper, I don't think they'd buy him out, but even if they would, isn't the buyout period over?

    Re: Ritola, I can't see teams passing up on him.

    Two reasons:

    1) Ville Leino

    2) $512K contract

    Bonus) He's spent three years in the Detroit system, and that's tempting enough as it is. Who wouldn't want a young swede who Detroit was high on and only got rid of because of cap constraints/roster limits.

    After watching what Leino did in the playoffs you know there are teams just waiting for the Wings to waive/trade some young kid with a small contract. In fact, if Detroit waived Ritola I would almost guarantee that Edmonton picks him up.

    • Matt Saler says:

      Yeah, $2 million to play with is better than $1.2 million, but they're not even willing to give that to Lilja. I don't see them as interested in forking that much over to a guy who's likely to be a downgrade, as the guys on the market seem to be.

      The Janik idea could end up happening if they can't swing their veteran defenseman deal like they want, but it'd kind of suck. That kind of lack of defensive depth would be something I'd think they'd flail to avoid.

      Good point on Draper. I think you're right.

      Yeah, you're right on Ritola. I know my wife and her fellow Griffins-season-ticket-holding best friend are not enamored of him, but for the reasons you cite, I can't see teams just passing on him, whatever folks like Kyle Kujawa may think to the contrary. There are enough compelling reasons for teams to take a risk on him, for sure.

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